What Makes a LEED Home Different?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with DMK Real Estate Ct RE Broker 0789963

What Makes a LEED Home Different?    

Recently here in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut two new LEED homes designed by Trillium Architects have been built. The first one is a renovation in Darien that just was certified LEED Platinum the highest rating by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) and the second a new build in Rowayton seeking to earn LEED Platinum or Gold.

What makes a LEED Home different? Below are some of the specifications that go beyond the basic building and energy code to make a home more sustainable, energy efficient, healthier and comfortable to live in.

  • 6 inches of EPS foam board insulation under the basement slab with additional layer of insulted floating floor panels above the slab.
  • 2 by 6 24” o.c. advance wall framing.
  • Wrap exterior wall in 1 inch structurally insulated sheathing panels (R-5) that provides additional insulation and breaks thermal bridging.
  • Tape all seems exterior sheathing seams to greatly reduce air infiltration.
  • South facing roof with proper pitch to optimize PV and solar thermal systems.
  • 2 by 12 roof rafters insulated with ‘flash’ of 3 inch closed cell foam and finished with open cell for a total or R-60.
  • LED can ceiling lights.
  • Use Energy Star rated windows, triple pane (U.27) and double pane (U.30).
  • Hybrid HVAC system consisting of hydronic heat system and heat pump units using non HCFC refrigerants.
  • Creating a cool roof with Certainteed Solaris shingles, SRI 29.
  • Architectural Design:
    • Use of overhangs to protect siding and provide shade during the summer but allowing passive heating in the winter months.
    • Multi use rooms, such as have a home office turn into a guest bedroom.
    • Rooms and levels zoned and can be conditioned as required. 
  • Water conservation with using high efficiency:
    •  Toilets (1.28 gpf).
    • Sink faucets (1.5 gpm).
    • Showerheads (1.75 gpm).
    • Energy Star dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Indoor Air Quality Control:
    • Low and no VOC paints and sealants.
    • Natural fiber insulation.
    • Formaldehyde free materails .
    • Organic textiles .
    • Garage not attached to living space.
    • Hard surface flooring and natural surfaces flooring.
    • Central vacuum system that exhausts outdoors.
  • Use of natural and sustainable materials for low maintenance:
    • Cement fiber board siding.
    • FSC certified lumber used framing and trim.
    • No VOC paints used.
    • Stone work either locally sourced or direct from the site.
    • Use of recycled and re-used products and materials.
  • Land Scaping:
    • Rain water collection system from roof for landscaping use.
    • Use of local and non-invasive plants for landscaping.
    • Incorporate primary ‘non-lawn’ natural meadow instead of grass.
    • Permeable patios, walkways and driveways.


*Information source points:

~ http://www.sustainct.com/index.html#anchor_86

~ http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/17024/lawrence-residence




David Popoff is a Connecticut license real estate agent in lower Fairfield County. He has lived and worked in the area for over 30 years and now reside in Darien since 2004.

  • Green Affiliations.
    • Realtor GREEN designation by the National Association of Realtors.
    • David Popoff is an accredited LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) Homes and USGBC member of the Connecticut chapter (CTGBC).  
    • Associate member and an accredited Certified Green Professional (CGP) of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the local chapter HBRA-Fairfield County, Ct.
    • Member of the HBA CT Green Homes Council.
  • Member of the Multiple Listing Service, MLS.
    • Darien
    •  Greenwich
    •  Greater Fairfield County
  • Member of the Connecticut Association of Realtors, CAR.
  • Member of the National Association of Realtors, NAR.
  • Contact David Popoff at William Pitt Sotheby’s for all your real estate needs in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Rowayton and the rest of lower Fairfield County.


Posted by

David Popoff
Connecticut Licensed Real Estate Broker
Realtor® Green
Seller Representative Specialist
Accredited Buyer Representative


DMK Real Estate, Darien, CT.
Cell (203) 228-0646




DMK Realty, 06820 





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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

David~very thorough descriptions of a LEED home. I have to say that I'm not familiar with them. I DO have a "Greenfriendly" realtor friend here in ActiveRain and I'm going to send her your link. Debb Janes is her name, and she's based in WA state.


Jul 20, 2012 01:13 AM #1
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Gayle, that is terrific, I will have to look her up, thanks

Jul 20, 2012 01:36 AM #2
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

David -- This is a great educational post on LEED homes.  I think many people mistakenly think these are NEW homes only.  You have explained and showed that it's renovations as well as your link clearly shows. Very well done.

Jul 22, 2012 11:58 PM #3
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

David, Leeds is currently the gold standard with regard to energy efficient homes, your post definitely spreads the word about the standards.

Jul 24, 2012 12:31 PM #4
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

David-thanks for the link. Good description of what makes a LEED home. I spent a fair amount of time on Trillium's blog as well, some very good information. 



Feb 04, 2013 10:59 PM #5
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David Popoff

Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
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